Saturday, February 1, 2014

January 2014 - A new year and a new adventure!

Happy New Year!

Pork & Sauerkraut is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch New Year's Dinner. Y.U.M.
January 2014 has delivered some true winter weather here in central Pennsylvania, with a number of days around and even below zero (0ยบ) Fahrenheit! Woohoo, it's been cold! Despite there being two public holidays on which it could have snowed, we've had 3 snow days and 3 2-hr delays for school this month alone, which means we've not had one full week of school yet in 2014.

"T" is doing great in the Winter swim season this year. She trains 4 days a week; 3 in the pool and one strength training. She is a natural in the water and swims all four strokes beautifully and is mastering flip turns this season. Her favorite race is now the 100m Individual Medley (IM), in which she has come first or second each meet. She'll swim in 8-9 meets this season. In our league of 14 swim teams, "T's" times are in the top ten [8 & under girls] for freestyle, butterfly & IM; first in backstroke, and top 20 for breaststroke.

"K" is enjoying another winter basketball season with Upwards at our church. The net is a little higher this year (3rd grade) and the game follows the rules a little tighter/closer than in years past, but these challenges are appropriate & welcome. "K" still enjoys the game even if he's not entirely sure what he should be doing! We're still looking for his "thing" — the thing he really enjoys and is good at ... in the meantime we'll give [almost] anything a try and see what he likes!

I have spent much of the month preparing for the renovation work ahead of us on our new house. Just planning out the order of what needs to be done is quite the chore. I'll research one thing, like siding, and realize that we should put windows in first, and then realize we have to rebuild a wall to [fix it and] allow for bigger window/door openings ... and stairs, don't get me started on stairs! Do you know how much of our great room they are going to occupy?!! I have the whole house drawn to scale on graph paper, and lets just say I have drawn every configuration of stairs — and kitchen layout — imaginable! I think I have the stairs figured out, more thinking to be done around the kitchen ...

There's a little bit of work to be done yet in the great room ...

"M" is getting back into the swing of the second semester after a winter break, teaching 2nd year electrical apprentices two nights a week. He will finish his school year in mid-April, after which he will take some vacation time to get going on house renovations. We plan to do as much of the renovations ourselves as we can, calling in pros for the most difficult tasks only. It's amazing how much you can learn [about anything] watching YouTube! Potentially the biggest 'roadblock' ahead is with the code-inspector, as there were no permits pulled for what has been done so far [sigh]. Your prayers in this matter are appreciated!

"K", "T" & I are learning ukulele! "K" & "T" got ukulele's for Christmas from their Nana & Pop, so with the help of YouTube & an e-book, I am learning & teaching them at the same time! With just 4 chords (C, G, F, Am) under my belt I can already play half a dozen songs, and there's many more out there! The sound of an ukulele is so "happy" :)

Smiles & a pretty bloom brightened our dull winter days! 

Well, that's January 2014 for you! Thanks for reading!

Love, hugs & blessings,


For more pics of our family adventures, visit